Friday, January 30, 2009

it all started when i was six

AP photo in today's Houston Chronicle photo gallery.
The caption:
U.S. Army Spec. Casey Hurles surprises his son Gabriel for his sixth birthday. Hurles, who just returned from Iraq, has been planning the surprise at his son's Dayton, Nev. kindergarten class for months.
Is it me, or does this seem like a fairly terrifying scenario?

You're six years old, at least marginally conscious of the tension and fear of having daddy fighting a war far away. You're happily celebrating your birthday at school. As you tear the wrapping paper off a gigantic present you are startled by the human being you uncover, thrown completely off by the magical reappearance of your father and unable to erase the image of dad's wacko facial expression.

"Daddy went to war and came home in a box."
"Instead of a life-size Toys R Us dream toy, I got Daddy. With the crazy-eyes."

Little Gabriel has a great start on his When I Grow Up I'm Gonna Need Therapy scrapbook.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

this just in. and out.

California: Second Set of Octuplets Born

Published: January 27, 2009

A woman gave birth to eight babies in Southern California, the world’s second live-born set of octuplets. The mother, who was not identified, gave birth to six boys and two girls weighing 1 pound 8 ounces to 3 pounds 4 ounces, doctors at Kaiser Permanente hospital told KCAL-TV. “Eight newborns are in stable condition, and they’re doing quite well,” Dr. Karen Maples said. Myra Suarez, a Kaiser spokeswoman, said she could not release any information about the mother, including whether she used fertility drugs. The first live-born octuplets were born in Houston in 1998, and one baby died about a week later.

[via nyt]

Who are these people? We are not livestock.* Two breasts, not eight teats. Motherofgod, who would want to put themselves and this many babies at risk?

I understand the desire for children. I was lucky. Had two children and happily put up the Closed for Business sign. I understand the risk of multiple births with invitro or fertility drugs. But too often this is about abortion.

If you have 8 eggs implant (one might question the dosage of the fertility meds or the enthusiasm of the fertility doc) you get to choose between the probability of losing some or all of those embryos or having children with untold number of physical and mental problems due to lack of natural development and almost guaranteed premature delivery. Well, shit. Unplant (read: abort) five of them and have two or three children who have a better chance of not spending their lives with full or partial blindness, central nervous system disorders, serious learning disabilities, chronic respiratory problems, etc. and worse.

Just because these 8 babies are breathing on their own doesn't mean they are going to be a-okay. Furthermore, this story is the exception. Dead or damaged multiple births don't make the news. The long term effects of medical intervention need to be highlighted with stories and photos.

We are not livestock.*

P.S. "...Kaiser spokeswoman...could not release any information about the mother, including whether she used fertility drugs." That's okay. You don't have to release information about whether she's ever had sex either, we can figure it out.

ADDENDUM: Of course, many of you have now read that Miss Reproductive America has six other children under the age of 7 at home. This, obviously, is the big footnote to my opinionated thesis. But even if she weren't...crazy is the only adjective I can call up, this is still a deeply disturbing decision. Either the fertility doctor didn't do his homework or she's one hell of a liar.

*Apologies to most livestock. They usually do not drop that many calves, lambs, etc. I should have said, "We are not hogs or household pets."

(Holy shit. I've just used a post script, addendum and asterisk for post post commentary. There must be a name for people who can't stop editing. Or clarifying. Oh, that's right, it's called obsessive-compulsive opinionating. Ha, ha. Beat you to it!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

i'm just saying

That is one beautiful sight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

holy see men

Thanks to my good friend Oliver, I now have this irritation to fuel the rest of the renovation...

Vatican: "Homosexual behavior" on the decline
10:27 AM CST on Thursday, January 15, 2009
Associated Press

WASHINGTON—A Vatican office that evaluated U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries says the schools have made improvements in halting what they call “homosexual behavior” among students.

The Vatican also says seminaries are doing well in teaching about celibacy and are generally effective in screening candidates for the priesthood.

The Vatican ordered the seminary review in response to the clergy sex abuse crisis to see whether the schools had contributed to the problem. The Vatican also directed evaluators to look for “evidence of homosexuality” in the schools.

Some Catholics blame gay clergy for the abuse scandal. Experts on sex offenders say gays are no more likely than others to molest children.
Priests have been molesting children for centuries. But it's only after all this holy-man-on-boy-action litigation that the Vatican decides to get off its red velvet ass and do something. And shifting the focus to homosexuality certainly distracts from their abominable negligence.

A couple of points.

The Vat is stating that seminaries "have made improvements in halting what they call 'homosexual behavior' among students."

"What they call 'homosexual behavior'? What the hell does that mean? Is it significantly different from what the general public calls homosexual behavior (sans quotes)?

Maybe they have some hidden gauge like for a woman's virginity...1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, tagged before home plate--phew, hymen still intact, you get to wear white! So if you just get a hard-on at the sight of a backwards collar, you might not be a homosexual? Or if you just fondle cock through the cassock, you might not be a homosexual?

And when the Vatican states that this "homosexual behavior" is on the decline...what are the metrics on that? A reduction in holy lube orders? More coordinated habit/chastity belt sets being sold? (Note: all this muck about homosexuality seems to be focused on the MEN of god, eh? What about those wicked, wicked dyke nuns? Oh, to have an old-fashioned habit!) Where is the data for this supposed drop in homo activity?

Ah, and there's the less-than-subtle segue from homosexuality to pedophilia. Nice one, Herr Pope. And see that last line? Buried under the bullshit? Experts on sex offenders say gays are no more likely than others to molest children.

Talk about your Catholic puff piece. They say that seminaries are "generally effective in screening candidates for the priesthood." What kind of limp dick assurance is that? Why would anyone feel safer letting their offspring near a priest?

Aw shit. Why would anyone expect lifelong sexual frustration to NOT create serious problems?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Why the holy fuck would anyone EVER paint a room that was not a scabby, scaly mess? Why would you do it on a whim? For a new color? Freshen things up?

That is insane. I can't use the word fuck or fucking enough to describe the hell of painting. Because. it. never. ends.

Sure, it's going to look great. And be more solid and appealing, etc., fuckity-fuck.

Miles, people. Miles of sanding. Miles of taping. Acres of texturizing. A fucktacular quantity of plastic taped to the floor (while scuttling along in a crippling crab-crawl) that is brutally shredded every time you take a deep breath. Then, you tape the windows. (It's a small apartment. Only a freaking dozen or so double-hung windows.) Oddly enough, I have always loved tape but this experience has so put me off, I'm considering breaking up with all adhesive products.

Don't get me started on the priming. And the woodwork! Sweet screaming jesus what possessed us to leave the low maintenance caves? Why, why, why, why, why...

I hate painting. HATE it. I'll drywall. I'll build new windows, I'll tile, I'll bondo anything that moves but never make me paint again.

And when I tell you everything hurts, it's not a some cute little overstatement. There may be one vestigal second eyelid muscle that is not pulled, bruised or screaming. And, it turns out this time, there's a synergy to the pain. Yes, if you add up all the individual pains you have to square that number to explain the final angony.

And I am no crybaby! Fuck you. And fuck Home Depot for making me think this would be simple as a coloring book.

Going to bed now. Will wake up tomorrow metamorphosed into a kafka-esque bundle of sheared nerve endings unable to roll over off its back.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Today is Epiphany! My blog's Saint's Day. Sort of. Only lighter.
Happy Epiphany! Happier Epiphenita!

today's word

I avidly ate my avenaceous breakfast.

I heart A.Word.A.Day.

Monday, January 05, 2009

rep this

If it were true that repetitive movement created bigger muscles I should have a hump. And Mickey Mouse hands.

backward and forward

Like so many others, I reject the notion of resolutions based on our fabricated time frame. If you don't have enough resolve to move towards a goal on December 30th, you won't miraculously find it by January 1st.

I do not, however, reject the idea of reflecting on the past and making plans for the future. Mostly, though, I raise my glass to the future.

One thing I will not be considering, resolving or planning to join is the lemming race to diet madness*. It pains me that so many bright, talented, funny women (and men) dedicate inordinate amounts of time, energy and money to this self-hate activity. Or intense self-dislike...however you justify. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway, since in our thin-worshipping society, I've just done the equivalent of a devout Catholic peeing on the pontiff) that the goal of good health is a worthy activity and not about self-hate but that is NOT why 95% of the population tortures their bodies. And 95% may be understating the issue. Women, focus your tremendous, creative energy on healthy are so much more valuable than your ideal weight...whatever that is.

A couple of quotes to start things off that reflect my current reflections:

Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.
–Naomi Wolf
[via Kate Hardings Shapely Prose]

And dedicated to my DIY fervor and firm grip on intellectual irony:
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
–John W. Gardner
[via Bungalow Bathrooms, by Jane Powell]

*And gentle readers, I'm a big girl (sorry. nothing girlish about me) woman. Thinking about this issue, I'm afraid I made a friend uncomfortable the other day. I was eating a grapefruit, like I do every day and mentioned that I loved grapefruits and wasn't eating them, as someone once asked, because I was on a diet.

, I tardily reacted to the past insult, Do you think I need to be on a diet? Are you calling me fat? My friend, dear person that she is, seemed unsettled because she, like most people, probably thinks that yes, a diet wouldn't hurt me. Of course, I started dieting at the age of 10, and it has in fact, hurt me both physically and psychologically. And to what end? Rare moments at my "ideal weight" sandwiched** between decades of energy wasted on self-disgust and ruining my body's ability to regulate itself. Basta.

But she didn't deserve the diatribe.

Wish I had a warning label I could slap on my forehead when I'm about to blow. Maybe a red light attached to my cranium that would start blinking...

**I love using food metaphors for anti-dieting commentary.

name change and other stinky issues

Changing my name to Blah, Blah DIY Blah.

Have stopped apologizing for the narrow topic interest. Just stopped talking about it. Mostly. Haven't stopped writing about it (obviously) because you can always close the window without offending me. Unless I'm standing next to which case, keep reading.

Did you know that replacing the anode rod in your water heater can be the solution to rotten-egg scented hot water? I didn't. I didn't even know the water heater was a boy. Now, I have another fun thing to add to the list: rod replacement. The ever-growing list.

I understand that the area around the toilet might smell like urine. I don't forgive it, I just understand. When you're unpeeling 'n unsticking tile squares, you become acutely aware. But how come the tiles near the door of the bathroom smell like urine, too? That's not bad aim, that's incontinence.

In the Pollyanna version of this experience, I'm grateful it's only piss and not shit I'm smelling. Hallelujah.

Have discovered a new toxic waste removing product: Denatured Alcohol. Well, it's new to me, assholes. Anyway, it removed all this...grey tub cement residue and I've started calling it Good Natured Alcohol. But don't be fooled, this stuff has a furrowed-brow warning label, too.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

disconnected bits

Garage apartment renovations taking over our life.
Everything hurts.
Drywall dust in my nether regions.
Drywall mud holding together my clothing.

Used Bondo for the first time.
Boy is that Toxic Epoxy. (Say that 6 times--but keep your serious filter mask on.)
Cut some drywall and put it up. Like a holy DIY puzzle, it is.

Have spent so much time in Home Depot, I'm starting to straighten out the shelves as we shop.

Have to make a herculean effort not to allow loud groaning noises to escape when I move. Either arm. Or stand up or lie down. Then, I sound like the Tin Man. Only instead of crying, "oil can" you can just make out, "kill me now."

Set out on a trip to Perfection.
Detoured at Damn That Looks Good.
Am pricing motels in Adequate Considering.
Hope we don't break down in Who Gives a Shit.